Monday, March 10, 2008

It is not what you have, but where you fit in

Such a lot of companies are doing good things in the mobile banking and payment space. It is great to live and work in such a vibrant industry. I recently made a list of companies that play a role in the development of the industry. These are companies that are making an impact and can be looked at for solutions (or at the least as a benchmark).

It was interesting for me when I realised how few of these companies actually can claim to be independent. Not that independence is that important, but still it is important to know where companies "fit in". This will help you to understand their actions and what drives them to be successful.. but also in what way could they be made to act by other forces.

The best examples are solutions predominately developed (or at least) owned by large operators. It would be unlikely that these solutions would be deployed by other operators. Examples of these are Vodafone's mPesa, Smart's Smartmoney and Globe's gCash.

Other examples are companies that have deployed a successful mobile payment solution in a specific market. Sometimes these deployments are quite spectacular. These companies then try and sell their solutions elsewhere. They try turning an operational solution into a packaged solution. This is particularly difficult and the jury is still out if this can be done commercially. Examples of this are Trumpet Mobile now selling technology as Affinity, Wizzit now offering a solution under the brand r-Qubed and others.

Many solution providers are a small sub-company of a much larger company. Even though these solution providers project themselves as a big supplier of mobile payment solutions, the division providing this product line is often very small. Because these companies also have other interest, the provision of mobile payment solutions may suffer in the interest of other priorities. Examples of these are multiple and include Eversystems, GFG, mFormation and Telesoft.

Few companies can claim to be independent suppliers of mobile payment solutions. These companies are often focused companies with excellent solutions and track records. Examples of such companies are Fundamo, mShift and Paybox.

Once again this is not a comprehensive list. It is my intention to trigger discussion on my (often controversial) positions which is always welcomed.

No comments: